An angry federal judge sentenced Lori Loughlin to two months jail Friday — and scolded the former “Full House” TV star for living a “fairy tale life” yet greedily grabbing “even more,” by conspiring to pay a half-million-dollar bribe to get her daughters into the University of Southern California as fake rowing recruits.
“Here you are, an admired, successful professional actor with a long-lasting marriage,” Boston federal Distict Judge Nathaniel Groton said in a virtual, Zoom sentencing that was part tongue-lashing, part wrist slap.
Loughlin enjoys “two apparently healthy, resilient children, more money than you could possibly need, a beautiful home in sunny, southern California,” noted Groton, who earlier Friday had sentenced the actress’s designer husband, Mossimo Giunnulli to five months for the same conspiracy.
“A fairytale life,” the judge admonished Loughlin.
“Yet you stand before me a convicted felon. And for what? For the inexplicable desire to grab even more,” he said.
“We can only hope that you will spent the rest of your charmed life, as you have said you will, making amends to the system you have harmed,” he told Loughlin.
The actress fought back tears as she expressed remorse for the humiliating scandal.
“I’ve made an awful decision,” she told the judge, her voice breaking during the video hearing.
“I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college-admissions process, and in doing so, I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass.
“While I wish I could go back and do things differently, I can only take responsibility and move forward,” she said.
“I have great faith in God, and I believe in redemption, and I will do everything in my power to redeem myself and use this experience as a catalyst to do good,” Loughlin added.
“Your honor, I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry. I am ready to face the consequences and make amends.”
The actress has already begun volunteering at an elementary school for special-needs children in Los Angeles, her lawyer told the court — noting that because of the scandal, “Lori lost the acting career she spent 40 years building.
“Her personal life has also been upended by the unrelenting media attention,” the lawyer, BJ Trach, added.
“Because of her celebrity, Lori has been the undisputed face of the national scandal. Paparazzi have followed her wherever she goes,” the lawyer groused.
“No other defendant has landed in the cross hairs of this scandal with anything approaching the level she has,” he said.
“All of that pales in comparison to the pain she feels her daughters have endured. The knowledge that she has harmed her children in this way is a burden she will have to carry with her the rest of her life.”
The family has hired security to “keep them safe,” the lawyer added of the daughters, who have had to withdraw from USC.
Loughlin must surrender to start serving her sentence by Nov. 19. Her lawyers have asked that she be sent to Victorville Camp, the low-security section of a larger federal lockup in San Bernadino County, near her home.
During the proceeding, Gorton OK’d the plea deal for Loughlin, 55, who was implicated with Giannulli in the nationwide college admissions scandal.
Giannulli had been sentenced earlier Friday before the same judge and will serve five months behind bars.
The couple were accused of paying $500,000 to scheme mastermind William “Rick” Singer to falsely portray their daughters, social media “influencer” Olivia Jade Giannulli, 20, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, as talented rowing crew athletes — even though neither of them ever participated in the sport.
As part of the pair’s sentences, Loughlin — an actress best known for portraying the wholesome “Aunt Becky” on the sitcom “Full House” from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s — will pay a $150,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.
The Italian-born Giannulli — founder of the multimillion-dollar clothing brand Mossimo — will pay a $250,000 fine and serve 250 hours of community service.
Loughlin’s lawyer insisted she has accepted responsibility and merely wanted for her daughters what she herself could not afford as a working-class kid.
But a federal prosecutor slammed Loughlin, who he said “opted to cheat” to get the daughters into college because the advantages of being merely rich and famous “were not enough.”
The celebrity couple’s sentencings bring to a close the celebrity couple’s galling, made-for-TV legal drama, in which they’d faced a decade or more in prison had they lost at trial.
Loughlin and Giannulli were among the highest-profile defendants in the scam, in which some 30 prominent parents have pleaded guilty to paying hefty bribes for the fake test scores and athletic credentials their undeserving kids needed to get into desirable colleges.
“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in prison last year for her own part in the scheme to get one of her daughters into college.
Until their guilty pleas, Loughlin and Giannulli had continued to insist that they believed the payments — which were funneled through a sham charity operated by Singer — were legitimate donations to USC.
Singer had been prepared to testify against Loughlin and Giannulli had they taken the case to trial.
But the list of potential witnesses against them was lengthy.
Prosecutors have accused Giannulli and Loughlin of even repeatedly lying to Olivia Jade’s high school guidance counselor, who had doubted that the YouTuber was in crew based on “her video blogging schedule,” as the feds said in court papers.
“Giannulli also bluntly stated that [Olivia Jade] was a coxswain,” prosecutors alleged earlier this week.
The then-teen’s bogus resume boasted of gold-medal wins at the San Diego Crew Classic as far back as 2014.
The pair is worth an estimated $100 million — with some $70 million of that credited to Mossimo’s lucrative licensing agreement with Target stores.
Still, they had been downscaling of late. Earlier this year, they sold their $18 million Bel Air mansion, earlier this month buying a $9.5 million farmhouse in Hidden Hills, Calif.
Loughlin told pals in June that she was terrified of getting COVID-19 in prison.
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